dis·​card | \ dis-ˈkärd How to pronounce discard (audio) , ˈdis-ˌkärd \
discarded; discarding; discards

Definition of discard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to get rid of especially as useless or unwanted a pile of discarded tires They quickly discarded the idea.
2a : to remove (a playing card) from one's hand (see hand entry 1 sense 7a(1)) discarded an ace
b : to play (any card except a trump) from a suit different from the one led

intransitive verb

: to discard a playing card discard at the end of your turn


dis·​card | \ ˈdis-ˌkärd How to pronounce discard (audio) \

Definition of discard (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the act of removing a playing card from one's hand : the act of discarding (see discard entry 1 sense 2a)
b : a card discarded collected the discards
2 : one that is cast off or rejected

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Other Words from discard


discardable \ dis-​ˈkärd-​də-​bəl How to pronounce discardable (audio) , ˈdis-​ˌkär-​ \ adjective
discarder noun

Choose the Right Synonym for discard


discard, cast, shed, slough, scrap, junk mean to get rid of. discard implies the letting go or throwing away of something that has become useless or superfluous though often not intrinsically valueless. discard old clothes cast, especially when used with off, away, or out, implies a forceful rejection or repudiation. cast off her friends shed and slough imply a throwing off of something both useless and encumbering and often suggest a consequent renewal of vitality or luster. shed a bad habit finally sloughed off the depression scrap and junk imply throwing away or breaking up as worthless in existent form. scrap all the old ways would junk our educational system

Examples of discard in a Sentence

Verb Remove and discard the stems. a pile of discarded tires She discarded the six of hearts. Noun toss all of your discards in the garbage
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb During his first year running Canes for Veterans Central Texas, Willis simply collected discarded trees and wood from his neighborhood. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Texas man makes free canes for veterans in need using discarded Christmas trees," 7 Jan. 2020 Fellow mathematicians couldn’t figure out why Simons had discarded a thriving career to sit in a makeshift office in a dreary Long Island strip mall, next to a women’s clothing boutique and two doors down from a pizza joint, losing money. Gregory Zuckerman, Quartz, "The history of blunders and missteps that led to the quant trading revolution," 6 Nov. 2019 The jersey might have been discarded if not for fellow Punahou alum Peter Noble. Allen Kim, CNN, "President Obama's high school basketball jersey nets $120,000 at auction," 19 Aug. 2019 To say Sleater-Kinney has discarded its essence would be wrong, too. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Sleater-Kinney Lost Its Chaos Before It Lost Its Drummer," 16 Aug. 2019 In general, upcycled describes what happens when an item that has been discarded, such as an old inner tube, is repurposed into a higher quality product such as a handbag made from that inner tube. SELF, "These Companies Are Trying to Get You to Buy Food That’s Made With Scraps," 1 Aug. 2019 While an earlier proposal for a tax of one cent per ounce on sugary beverages has been discarded, a new 1 percent tax would be charged on all prepared foods, including soda dispensed from a fountain at a fast food restaurant. Christopher Keating, courant.com, "Senate approves two-year, $43 billion state budget; Gov. Lamont expected to sign," 5 June 2019 Remove from oven, discard thyme and bay leaves, and sprinkle with fresh tarragon. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Coq au Vin Rosé," 21 Dec. 2019 Remove the turkey from the brine (discard the brine) and place it breast-side down in a roasting pan (without a rack). Pour the sauce over it and around it. Leilani Marie Labong, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Area chef welcomes pavo borracho, or drunken turkey, to Christmas table," 20 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Alice changes size, Medusa can turn foes to stone, Sinbad grows in strength as more voyage cards hit the discard pile, and King Arthur utilizes the Lady of the Lake and Excalibur to great effect. Charlie Theel, Ars Technica, "Unmatched: Battle of Legends," 14 Dec. 2019 High-grading or culling and discarding fish works against us if the discards don’t survive. Frank Sargeant, al, "Alabama anglers stay within red snapper quota," 11 Dec. 2019 The team’s onetime burning question sits under all the rubble of the first two weeks, when the woeful Dolphins were outscored, 102-10, traded two of their best players, and signed 13 players off the discard pile of other teams. Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Josh Rosen takes over as Dolphins starting quarterback, but it’s no big deal," 19 Sep. 2019 Cornerbacks Bradley Roby and Johnathan Joseph are ailing, and the Texans have had to rely on discards such as recently signed former Buccaneers first-round pick Vernon Hargreaves. BostonGlobe.com, "Given the opposition, look for Sunday to be the Patriots’ best all-around win of the season - The Boston Globe," 29 Nov. 2019 Epstein remedied this immediately, bringing in the likes of Bill Mueller, Mike Timlin, Kevin Millar, Todd Walker, and a Twins discard by the name of David Americo Ortiz in his first offseason. BostonGlobe.com, "When 28-year-old Theo Epstein was named the general manager of the Red Sox in November 2002, the mission statement was slightly but irrefutably different than what it is for 36-year-old Chaim Bloom, who was named the Red Sox’ chief baseball officer Monday.," 30 Oct. 2019 Nathan says the discard rate for a kidney with a high KDPI is in the range of 40% to 50%. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "US discards thousands of donated kidneys each year as patients die on waitlist, study says," 29 Aug. 2019 East can take the queen and shift to diamonds, but South wins and leads his jack of hearts to set up dummy’s king for a diamond discard. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, "Bridge: July 8, 2019," 8 July 2019 Gradually, the meaning of discard broadened to include rejection beyond card-playing. San Diego Union-Tribune, "English lays its cards on the table of our tongue," 27 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'discard.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of discard


circa 1586, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1744, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for discard

Time Traveler

The first known use of discard was circa 1586

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Statistics for discard

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Discard.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discard. Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for discard


How to pronounce discard (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of discard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to throw (something) away because it is useless or unwanted
: to remove (a playing card) from your hand in a card game


How to pronounce discard (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of discard (Entry 2 of 2)

: something (such as a playing card) that has been discarded


dis·​card | \ di-ˈskärd How to pronounce discard (audio) \
discarded; discarding

Kids Definition of discard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to get rid of as useless or unwanted
2 : to throw down an unwanted card from a hand of cards


dis·​card | \ ˈdi-ˌskärd How to pronounce discard (audio) \

Kids Definition of discard (Entry 2 of 2)

: something thrown away or rejected

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More from Merriam-Webster on discard

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for discard

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with discard

Spanish Central: Translation of discard

Nglish: Translation of discard for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of discard for Arabic Speakers

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